Isaiah 1:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Alas, sinful nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have turned away from Him.

King James Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

Darby Bible Translation
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that corrupt themselves! They have forsaken Jehovah; they have despised the Holy One of Israel; they are turned away backward.

World English Bible
Ah sinful nation, a people loaded with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken Yahweh. They have despised the Holy One of Israel. They are estranged and backward.

Young's Literal Translation
Ah, sinning nation, a people heavy with iniquity, A seed of evil doers, sons -- corrupters! They have forsaken Jehovah, They have despised the Holy One of Israel, They have gone away backward.

Isaiah 1:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Ah! sinful nation - The word rendered 'ah!' - הוי hôy - is not a mere exclamation, expressing astonishment. It is rather an interjection denouncing threatening, or punishment. 'Wo to the sinful nation.' Vulgate, 'Vae genti peccatrici.' The corruption pertained to the nation, and not merely to a part. It had become general.

Laden with iniquity - The word translated "laden" - כבד kebed - denotes properly anything "heavy," or burdensome; from כבד kâbad, "to be heavy." It means that they were oppressed, and borne down with the "weight" of their sins. Thus we say, Sin sits "heavy" on the conscience. Thus Cain said, 'My punishment is greater than I can bear;' Genesis 4:13. The word is applied to an "employment" as being burdensome; Exodus 18:18 : 'This thing is too "heavy" for thee.' Numbers 11:14 : 'I am not able to bear eli this people alone; it is too "heavy" for me.' It is applied also to a "famine," as being heavy, severe, distressing. Genesis 12:10 : 'For the famine was "grievous" (כבד kâbed, heavy) in the land;' Genesis 41:31. It is also applied to "speech," as being heavy, dull, unintelligible. Exodus 4:10 : 'I am slow (heavy כבד kebad) of speech, and of a slow (heavy כבד kebad) tongue.' It is not applied to sin in the Scriptures, except in this place, or except in the sense of making atonement for it. The idea however, is very striking - that of a nation - an entire people, bowed and crushed under the enormous weight of accumulated crimes. To pardon iniquity, or to atone for it, is represented by bearing it, as if it were a heavy burden. Exodus 28:38, Exodus 28:43, 'That Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things.' Leviticus 10:17 : 'God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation.' Leviticus 22:9; Leviticus 16:22; Numbers 18:1; Isaiah 53:6 : 'Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.' Isaiah 53:11 : 'He shall bear their iniquities.' 1 Peter 2:24 : 'Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.'

A seed - זרע zera‛, from זרע zâra‛, to sow, to scatter, to disperse. It is applied to seed sown in a field; Judges 6:3; Genesis 1:11-12; Genesis 47:23; to plants set out, or engrafted; or to planting, or transplanting a nation. Isaiah 17:10 : 'And thou shalt set it (תזרענוּ tizerâ‛enû shalt sow, or plant it) with strange slips.' Hence, it is applied to children, posterity, descendants, from the resemblance to seed sown, and to a harvest springing up, and spreading. The word is applied by way of eminence to the Jews, as being the seed or posterity of Abraham, according to the promise that his seed should be as the stars of heaven; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15-16; Genesis 15:5, Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:7, ...

Children - Hebrew sons - the same word that is used in Isaiah 1:2. They were the adopted people or sons of God, but they had now become corrupt.

That are corrupters - mashchiytiym - משׁחיתים mashechı̂ythı̂ym, from שׁחת shachath, to destroy, to lay waste, as an invading army does a city or country; Joshua 22:33; Genesis 19:13. To destroy a vineyard; Jeremiah 12:10. To break down walls; Ezekiel 26:4. Applied to conduct, it means to destroy, or lay waste virtuous principles; to break down the barriers to vice; to corrupt the morals. Genesis 6:12 : 'And God looked upon the earth, and it was corrupt - נשׁחתה nı̂shechâthâh; for all flesh had corrupted his way - השׁחית hı̂shechı̂yth - upon the earth;' Deuteronomy 4:16; Deuteronomy 31:29; Judges 2:19. They were not merely corrupt themselves, but they corrupted others by their example. This is always the case. When people become infidels and profligates themselves, they seek to make as many more as possible. The Jews did this by their wicked lives. The same charge is often brought against them; see Judges 2:12; Zephaniah 3:7.

They have provoked - Hebrew נאצוּ nı̂'ătsû 'They have despised the Holy One;' compare Proverbs 1:30; Proverbs 5:12; Proverbs 15:5. Vulgate, 'They have blasphemed.' Septuagint, παρωργίσατε parōrgisate. 'You have provoked him to anger.' The meaning is, that they had so despised him, as to excite his indignation.

The Holy One of Israel - God; called the Holy One of Israel because he was revealed to them as their God, or they were taught to regard him as the sacred object of their worship.

They are gone away backward - Lowth: 'They have turned their backs upon him.' The word rendered "they are gone away," נזרוּ nâzorû, from זור zûr, means properly, to become estranged; to be alienated. Job 19:13 : 'Mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.' It means especially that declining from God, or that alienation, which takes place when people commit sin; Psalm 78:30.

Isaiah 1:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Great Suit: Jehovah Versus Judah
'The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. I Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. 3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Worship
ISAIAH i. 12, 13. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. This is a very awful text; one of those which terrify us--or at least ought to terrify us--and set us on asking ourselves seriously and honestly--'What do I believe after all? What manner of man am I after all?
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Self-Righteousness Insufficient.
1 "Where are the mourners, [1] (saith the Lord) "That wait and tremble at my word, "That walk in darkness all the day? "Come, make my name your trust and stay. 2 ["No works nor duties of your own "Can for the smallest sin atone; "The robes [2] that nature may provide "Will not your least pollutions hide. 3 "The softest couch that nature knows "Can give the conscience no repose: "Look to my righteousness, and live; "Comfort and peace are mine to give.] 4 "Ye sons of pride that kindle coals "With your
Isaac Watts—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

Confession and Prayer. December 13, 1776

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Cross References
Nehemiah 1:7
"We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Psalm 71:22
I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 1:28
But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.

Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble And dry grass collapses into the flame, So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 9:17
Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out.

Isaiah 14:20
"You will not be united with them in burial, Because you have ruined your country, You have slain your people. May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.

Isaiah 31:2
Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster And does not retract His words, But will arise against the house of evildoers And against the help of the workers of iniquity.

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